4/28 Frugal Report: Why Did Walmart Suddenly Close 5 Stores? Your Coupons Could Change Before Your Eyes
This is Aarn Farmer with Grocery Shop for FREE at The Mart and this is the Frugal News that caught my attention today.
Our first story today isn’t really a piece of frugal news as much as it’s just a weird Walmart story and who doesn’t love that.
Walmart closed 5 stores in Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Florida due to persistent plumbing issues that need to be repaired.
Now that does not sound like an interesting story at all. In fact when I first heard it, I just shrugged my shoulders and moved on with my day but that’s when alert readers of my blog started talking about supposed sinister reasons behind the closings so I decided to take a closer look and what I found was a little bizarre to say the least.
Here’s what we know for sure. Walmart claims these 5 stores were closed for persistent plumbing problems despite the fact that none of the employees interviewed about the closings could recall any plumbing problems while they worked there. I have worked at businesses with big plumbing issues and trust me, you knew something was wrong. Also, not a single permit has been pulled to do any plumbing work at these stores. The other bizarre note is how incredibly sudden the closings were. In one instance the employees were notified at 2 that their store would be closed at 7. Also, entire Walmarts can be built in 6 months, it wouldn’t take that long to fix a plumbing issue if they had to replace every single pipe going into these buildings and they only had one plumber to do the entire job.
So what’s really going on? This is where the story really gets strange because there are 2 competing theories as to why Walmart closed these stores. Now it should be noted that neither of these stories have any hard evidence and is just conjecture but it makes for a far more interesting video than “Walmart closes stores for plumbing issues”
Theory #1 – Walmart closed these stores in retaliation for Union rabble rousing to get Walmart to raise the salaries of their workers. One of the stores closed was the Palo Alto CA store that was one of the first stores to protest and strike to demand higher wages. Now in fairness it should be pointed out that Walmart was convicted of closing a store in Canada over a decade ago in retaliation when it reached an impasse with local unions over, you guessed it, wages.
Theory #2 – Now this one is really out there. Some conspiracy theorists are claiming that the closings of these stores is linked to Jade Helm 15. If you’ve never heard of Jade Helm 15, don’t feel bad, I hadn’t either until I started reading up on this story. Basically what’s going on is the US Military will be performing mock training on American soil this summer with parts of the US being designated as hostile territory. These closed Walmarts are in “hostile territory” and, so the story goes, will be used as some kind of detention or processing centers in the drills. Of course the hard core conspiricy nuts are saying it’s not a drill at all but Marshall Law will be imposed upon America this summer and this is the beginning of the end for our great nation. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
I told you it was a weird story. Let’s move on.
This study released by the Gfk Marketing Group says couponers buy more, spend more and shop more often than non-couponers. Paper coupon users spend 19% more, and digital couponers spend 32% more. Among heavy coupon users, that percentage rises to more than 50%, with paper coupon users spending slightly more. Heavy couponers also make more shopping trips per year, and spend more per trip.
The study also says that coupons play a huge role in deciding what brands to buy and actually far more brand loyal than previously thought. So what’s going on here? I’ll tell you, and if you work in the couponing industry, please listen up.
When couponers make a buying decision, we are looking for the best deal we can get. When we go shopping for detergent, most of us don’t really have a preference between Tide and Cheer or the house brand detergent, we just want to wash our clothes as cheaply as possible. So if you are able to put out an awesome coupon that makes your detergent the best deal, even better than the generic house brand, we will buy your product. And if there is sale on that we can match up with that coupon to get a FANTASTIC deal, then we will buy a LOT of your product. Like months worth. Seriously. If you do that consistently, you create a loyal couponing customer. And I can attest that it works. I am brand loyal to far more products than I care to admit. We only buy Lipton tea, there was a deal for FREE Tetley tea with overage last week and I didn’t get it. That’s how loyal we are to Lipton. Now I could do that because I have about 6 family size boxes of Lipton tea bags in my stockpile from the last time they were on sale with a coupon. We only buy Clorox wipes, regardless of how cheap the Lysol ones are. We are loyal to Clorox on those wipes because they had a great deal, we bought them and we like them. Simple as that.
So if you want to create more loyal couponing fans of your products, put out good coupons for them and watch what happens.
On the blog this week
We got some really high dollar coupons for Purina Beneful and ONE dog food, the Ibotta Matchups have been update with 2 big FREEbies with overage and did you know there are times Walmart will take an expired coupon? You can find links to each of these posts at Grocery Shop for FREE at The Mart.com/Frugal Report
IBM just applied for a patent on digital coupons that could adjust the discount on the fly before you get to the register, So you could be offered a coupon worth more than the coupon offered to someone standing right next to you. You could get coupons where you won’t know how much the coupon is worth until it knows what you are buying. We could get coupons that are on a timer where if we use them within the next 24 hours it’s worth a high value and then that value drops over time.
As if couponing wasn’t tricky enough. Hey powers at be, this sounds like a great way to tick off your user base. Most of us don’t coupon “on the fly”, we plan out our shopping trips and work to get the best deals possible. Coupons that change value will probably convince us to go to another store that isn’t using your weird program. You should ask Safeway how their Just for U digital coupon program went. It went so well they had to merge with Albertson’s to stay afloat.
Thanks for watching, links to each of these stories and a full transcript can be found at Grocery Shop for FREE at The Mart.com/Frugal Report. So here is your question of the day: What are you brand loyal to?
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